States with the most motor vehicle deaths in 2020

Americans drove an estimated 13% fewer miles in 2020, likely due to stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, yet the country experienced an astounding 24% jump in the rate of road-related deaths over the year before, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). CoPilot analyzed preliminary 2020 data from the NSC, released on March 4, 2021, to determine which states saw the most motor vehicle deaths that year. The story and visualizations are made freely available for republication. We only require that you source and link back to the original CoPilot story, linked below.

State-by-state map:

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Motor vehicle deaths, 1999-2020:

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Data table:

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Detailed methodology:

CoPilot analyzed preliminary data from the National Safety Council, released on March 4, 2021, to create a map that shows the 2020 motor vehicle deaths in every state. States are ranked according to the number of deaths per 100,000 people, and ties are broken by the state’s total number of motor vehicle deaths. State population estimates were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, released on July 1, 2020. CoPilot also included a line graph that shows the national motor vehicle deaths each year between 1999-2020, using official fatality counts reported by the National Center of Health Statistics. 

There were 42,060 total motor vehicle deaths in 2020 across the United States, an 8% increase since 2019. Only nine states saw a decrease in the number of fatalities between 2019 and 2020: New Mexico, Wyoming, North Dakota, Maine, Delaware, Nebraska, Idaho, Alaska, and Hawaii. 

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